Unscrupulous or Not?

I had a company come out yesterday to give my air conditioning units a check-up for the coming summer. Within 5 minutes the service guy told me that he noticed I did not have leak detector/shutoff valves on my 3 hot water tanks. As luck would have it he happened to have 3 units on his truck that he could install for $199.00 each, on special. Later he offered to change the freon in my 3 units to a new type that will be mandated next year, for $150.00 each. My freon level was fine. Before leaving this guy suggested I install surge protectors on my units, as this is what “everybody” is doing. He also was running a special of $129.00 each. $1,450.00 worth of add-ons he tried to sell me using the tools of guilt and fear.

Segue with me now to the water industry. I have always despised dealers who sell water products through these same methods. “Ma’am did you know that Radon can be found…….. or “Sir did you know that we can protect your faucets from potential lead contamination using our model…….”.

In my 35 years solving water problems, while I have pointed out weak spots and vulnerabilities to my customers, never once have I followed my critique with a sales pitch or offer of a product. I realize that people have to make a living, and I realize that there is a strong sense to sell at every opportunity. However, I have learned that the way to build long-term relationships in the service industry is to forget about closing deals and focusing on being a servant. I have always done business this way and my list of repeat clients goes back to 1985.

I think upselling drinking water products through the use of fear tactics is deplorable. Every time there is a news release about water contamination, in the very next breath water treatment companies come oozing out of the walls with products literature warning of the impending water apocalypse, and new, special pricing on products they have to fix it.

In an ideal world; in my world; people should be open to learning about water, and water education should be a part of our educational process. Information and knowledge, not fear, should be the way water products are sold.